There’s a reason why people make the same New Year’s resolutions year after year — change is hard. Here’s the reality of trying to keep your New Year’s resolutions.
You pick a goal, make a plan, start January off on the track and yet, come next December, you’re making the exact same New Year’s resolution all over again. It takes extreme determination to make a resolution stick, which is why thanks to family, work and hectic schedules, for many of us, things don’t go according to plan. Here are some common New Year’s resolutions, and the reality of what happens when you try to keep them.
Resolution: Stop swearing
Reality: You start the year off strong with a swear jar that you stick a dollar in every time you accidentally slip up. But with the exception of that particularly horrid traffic jam, which claimed a twenty-dollar bill, you rarely have singles in your pocket to feed the jar. After a couple months, it sits on a shelf in the kitchen, dusty and forgotten until ice cream truck season rolls around.
Resolution: Drink more water
Reality: You buy yourself a fancy new water bottle and even set up reminders on your phone so you keep sipping throughout the day. But upping your water intake means Mother Nature isn’t just calling more often, she’s blowing up your phone. It’s no wonder you start “forgetting” to take your water bottle to work after a few weeks, but you do manage to keep drinking a glass of water with breakfast, so technically you’re a resolution success story.
Resolution: Get more sleep
Reality: Tired of always feeling tired, you resolve to put down the phone, turn off the television and start going to bed at a reasonable hour. Within two weeks, you feel glorious, waking up with a smile like a cartoon princess. But all it takes is a Netflix subscription for Valentine’s Day and you’re yawning as you discuss Orange Is the New Black with your coworkers.
Resolution: Learn a new language
Reality: You’ve always wanted to be bilingual, so you treat yourself to some online language courses and fantasize about being mistaken for a native on vacation. Concentrating is hard after a long day, and little by little you start to fall behind. You can still keep next year’s resolution of traveling the world, but don’t be too hard on yourself if introducing yourself and asking for a restroom is as far as you get without using your phone as a translator.
Resolution: Stop drinking caffeine
You suffer through a miserable week without caffeine before, one morning, you’re so tired that you simply forget to ask the barista for decaf. Within days, you and caffeine have resumed your torrid love affair, and you stockpile online articles listing reasons why caffeine is good for you in case anyone asks how you’re doing with your resolution to quit.
Resolution: Start a new hobby
Whether it’s writing your novel, learning to play the guitar or making yourself a sweater, we’ve all got creative projects we’d love to do, but can never seem to find the time. Resolving to pen a short story or knit a dishtowel would be more realistic, but much less impressive.
Resolution: Get more organized
You take advantage of a snowy weekend in late winter to mobilize the entire family and clear out room after room of clutter and clothes to be donated. Your victory is short-lived as little by little things start to creep toward their natural chaos. But you manage to maintain control over a single closet, and when the house is messy you look inside at the orderly shelves and whisper, “My precious.”
Resolution: Be a more adventurous eater
Does cookie butter count? Because, if so: mission accomplished.